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Friday, June 19, 2015

Coastal clean-up capsCoral Triangle Day celebration in Malangas town

By Alma L. Tingcang


The town of Malangas, a coastal municipality in Zamboanga Sibugay province was originally called “Kulaka”, a Subanen term for paddling. About two kilometers from this place was a small waterfall, which was called “Malangas” meaning “noisy” or “noisy brook” and that was how the place got its name.
In the early part of the year 1900, Christians from Zamboanga City, the Chavacanos began to migrate to this fertile and promising land in the Sibuguey Valley, nestled by the rich fishing ground of DumanguillasBay.The vast coal deposits attracted other people from Luzon, Visayas and other parts of Mindanao.
Malangas is located on the north-west portion of Zamboanga Sibugay. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Diplahan, on the northwest by Imelda, on the northeast by Buug, on the south-west by Alicia, and on the south by the beautiful Dumanquillas Bay.

On July 23, 1951, by virtue of Republic Act 654, Malangas was created into a municipality from a mere barrio of Margosatubig, comprising 25 barangays.

Coral Triangle Day

“AngKinabuhisaKadagatan, KinabuhisaKatawhan.” (Life of the Ocean, Life of the People)

Thus said Mayor Alfredo A. Atilano of Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay on the celebration of the Coral Triangle Day on June 9, 2015. He was awed by the overwhelming cooperation of the different sectors in the community and thanked them for their participation in the coastal clean-up activity.

“It is our goal to bring to light the importance of oceans in people’s lives and the need to protect them and to highlight the preservation of work being done by coral triangle partners in the region to protect it. We also aim to provide  aregional platform to promote national/local marine conservation work in each coral triangle country,” the good mayor said.

Community support

People from all walks of life came to support the clean-up drive including the local government unit (LGU) officials and employees, Western Mindanao State University, Malangas National High School, Malangas Elementary School, Malangas Institute, Department of Education, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coastguard, DSWD KALAHI-CIDSS and other concerned individuals.

Mayor Atilano recalled that during the previous year, they conducted mangrove planting in barangay Dansulao. “This year, weopted to do coastal clean-up and gather all the garbage that we have collected and weigh them. This is one of the strategies to help clean the ocean.”

All garbage collected were weighed to measure the amount of trash gathered from the coastal areas within one hour. Students were eager to do the work and contribute to the preservation and protection of the environment.

Asimilar activity was done simultaneously in Zamboanga Peninsula covering 6 municipalities namely :Lapuyan, Margosatubig, Vincenzo Sagun, and Kumalarang in Zamboanga del Sur, Buug and Malangas in ZambongaSibugay.

“If the ocean is clean, then we will have abundant supply of fishes and other marine resources while if it is dirty and polluted, the fishes will die,” Atilano quoted. The clean-up lasted for an hour, starting at 7:25 am and ending at 8:25 a.m.

Coral Triangle Initiative

Coral Triangle Day activities include beach clean-ups, sustainable seafood dinners and exhibitions, bazaars and beach parties, among others, all carrying the message of ocean conservation under the overall banner of “shared waters, shared solutions.”

The Coral Triangle is a geographical term so named as it refers to a roughly triangular area of the tropical marine waters of 
IndonesiaMalaysiaPapua New GuineaPhilippinesSolomon Islands and Timor-Leste that contain at least 500 species of reef-building corals in each eco-region.

It is also called the "Amazon of the seas" and covers 5.7 million square kilometers of ocean waters. Its biological resources sustain the lives of over 120 million people. 

The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security  was launched in 2007 as a multilateral partnership of the governments of the 6 countries.

It recognizes the need to safeguard the coastal and marine resources of the seas that surround these countries, which together constitute a uniquely diverse and economically important region.

The ultimate objectives of this plan are to ensure food security and sustainable livelihoods for all residents of the Coral Triangle, and to protect the region’s unique ecosystems and the marine species that inhabit them in perpetuity.